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Office of the Indiana Attorney General

ISSI > Underage Drinking & Driving > Overview Overview

The Indiana Attorney General's Office has a long standing record of supporting programs that promote responsible alcohol consumption and combat underage drinking. Although the Attorney General’s Office can't provide legal advice or representation to the public concerning drunk driving and underage drinking, it is dedicated to preventing it.

Research shows vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death for teens. Of the 319 alcohol-related fatalities that occurred in Indiana in 2006, nearly 15% (46) of the Hoosiers were under the age of 21.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reported the following:

  • Drivers under the age of 21 represent 10% of licensed drivers but are responsible for 17% of fatal alcohol-related crashes in the U.S.
  • Teenage drunk driving is the cause of one quarter of all motor vehicle accidents
  • One teen is killed in the United States every 60 minutes because of teen drunk driving

The incidence of underage drinking is extremely high among Indiana’s youth. Results from the 2007 Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveal:

  • 75% of high school students reported using alcohol in their lifetime
  • 44% of students reported currently using alcohol
  • Among Indiana high school students, 59% of 12th graders reported having at least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days as compared to 36% of 9th graders.

Even more alarming, statistics show that while the prevalence of current alcohol use increases with age, the first use of alcohol typically begins around age 12. Age at onset of drinking strongly predicts development of alcohol dependence over the course of the lifespan. About 40% of those who start drinking at age 14 years or under develop alcohol dependence at some point in their lives (Healthy People 2010: Substance Abuse).

It’s crucial we continue to reach out to our youth and educate them about this issue. The Attorney General’s Office is collaborating with The Century Council on the Indiana Safe Students Initiative to offer material and resources to help fight the battle against underage drinking and drunk driving.

The Council develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns and promotes action through strategic partnerships. The Century Council promotes responsible decision-making regarding drinking or non-drinking of beverage alcohol and discourages all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement, and other programs.

Additional Resources:

Indiana State Department of Health
Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking
Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving
Stop Underage Drinking
The Century Council